FAN coordinates a statewide network of volunteer advocates and faith communities with the help of a small staff that manages programming and operations. We employ a Co-Director model since we value collaboration, and we build the staff team through full-time and contract positions, part-time event support, and internships through faith-based and university programs. Learn more about our team below, and feel free to reach out to them to get involved!
Rev. Paul Benz, Co-Director, is an ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He served as director of the Lutheran Public Policy Office of Washington previous to his role at Faith Action Network. Paul has been a long time social justice leader in Washington state’s religious community on numerous issues, and he continues to advocate for FAN’s legislative agenda in Olympia. He is the lead organizer for FAN’s growing Network of Advocating Faith Communities, which have pledged to partner with FAN to be advocates in the halls of power.
Elise DeGooyer, Co-Director, brings to FAN three decades of experience in mission-driven work in human services and advocacy. She is a lifelong resident of Washington State, born and raised in Yakima, completing undergraduate education in Spokane at Gonzaga University, and making Seattle home since the 1980s. Her graduate studies at Maryknoll School of Theology and Seattle University focused on liberation theologies and pastoral leadership. At Northwest Harvest she helped shape advocacy initiatives on hunger and poverty issues in collaboration with constituencies statewide. She is the lead for Administration and Finance, while sharing oversight of the organization’s mission with Paul.
Tara MillerBerry, Administrative and Development Coordinator, grew up in the South and found her way to Seattle through the Global Mission Fellows program of the United Methodist Church. She worked at Mary’s Place for five years, helping grow their volunteer program and managing shelters for families experiencing homelessness. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Psychology with a Biology minor, and has a Master of Arts in Transforming Spirituality at Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry. She is passionate about creating a world where all may not only survive but thrive, recognizing that every justice issue is intricately connected to another.
Kevin Holtz joins FAN as a social work practicum intern through the Masters of Social Work program at the University of Washington. Kevin grew up primarily in Wisconsin, graduated from Judson University near Chicago with a degree in Christian Theology, and later moved to the Seattle area. In Seattle, he has worked at Community Psychiatric Clinic for over two years, overseeing their housing programs for homeless individuals. Kevin is excited to work to end oppression with a vision of a just and free world.